Reach­ing out to Ben­galuru read­ers

News­pa­per aims at a ‘fine bal­ance’

The Hindu - - SOUTH - Staff Re­porter

A news­pa­per is ideally a com­bi­na­tion of two fun­da­men­tal el­e­ments: what is in pub­lic in­ter­est and what the pub­lic is in­ter­ested in. “There is a fine bal­ance be­tween the two and this gets played out in the ed­i­to­rial judg­ment,” said A.S. Pan­neer­sel­van, Read­ers’ Ed­i­tor, , at an open house with the news­pa­per’s read­ers in Ben­galuru on Satur­day.

The face-to-face in­ter­ac­tion al­lowed read­ers to in­ter­act with the ed­i­to­rial team to give feed­back and sug­ges­tions. It also pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain to read­ers how de­ci­sions were taken in the news­room.

Nir­mala Narayanan, one of the read­ers, sought to know how the news­pa­per de­ter­mined what was in pub­lic in­ter­est.

“Three el­e­ments con­trib­ute to what goes into the news­pa­per: in­for­ma­tional, crit­i­cal and ad­ver­sar­ial,” Mr. Pan­neer­sel­van ob­served. “This is where the con­cept of ed­i­to­rial judge­ment be­comes very im­por­tant. The best thing about a news­pa­per is that the

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mul­ti­ple view­points that read­ers have also gets ex­pressed within the news­room.” He de­scribed the news­room as an ar­gu­men­ta­tive space, where peo­ple de­bate and dis­cuss news de­vel­op­ments be­fore ar­riv­ing at ed­i­to­rial de­ci­sions.

Re­spond­ing to feed­back from sev­eral read­ers about ad­ver­tise­ments jostling for space with news, Mukund Pad­man­ab­han, Ed­i­tor,

pointed out that read­ers’ sen­si­tiv­ity to ad­ver­tise­ments ap­peared to have con­tin­ued to change over the years. He cited how in the 1880s, one of the early edi­tions of

had only ad­ver­tise­ments on the front page. “This is how news­pa­pers func­tion. It is not a new com­mer­cial prac­tice, even for On oc­ca­sions, we have pulled out ad­ver­tise­ments on days when there have been ex­tremely im­por­tant news de­vel­op­ments at sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial cost,” he said.

A col­umn for se­nior cit­i­zens and a week­end di­gest of the week’s news were among sug­ges­tions made by the read­ers.

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